I can't say enough about the extraordinary work proprietor Bernard Magrez, assisted by the internationally renowned Michel Rolland, is doing at Pape-Clement. From this outstanding terroir, he comes close to rivaling what both Haut-Brion and La Mission-Haut-Brion are accomplishing a few miles away. Following the prodigious 2005 Pape-Clement, it would be hard to believe the next vintage could nearly match its predecessor. However, that is what has happened at this estate with both white and red, by the way."
Chateau Pape Clement 2006
Bordeaux Red Blends from Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux, France
Château Pape Clement is one of the brightest stars in the extensive range of vineyards Bernard Magrez owns worldwide. Based in Bordeaux, this great owner has made quality his personal battle. Hence, the care lavished on this land, the exceptional qualities of which have made Pessac's reputation for over seven centuries.
Planted in 1300, the estate is the oldest planted vineyard in the region, when it was presented to Bertrand de Goth upon his appointment as archbishop of Bordeaux, by his brother, Berald. It received its name from Bertrand's papal name, Clement V; on his election in 1306 he gave the estate to his successor as archbishop, Cardinal Arnaud de Canteloup. Bertrand, who would later move the papacy to Avignon near Châteauneuf-du-Pape, planted this original vineyard with red wine grapes.
The Wine Advocate - "The dense purple-colored 2006 boasts an extraordinary perfume of lead pencil shavings, creme de cassis, burning embers, and a sensation that can only be described as like walking through a damp forest on a hot, humid day. Full-bodied, extraordinarily textured, and multidimensional with an amazingly long finish of nearly 60 seconds, this blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Merlot from a 75-acre vineyard is a compelling wine that is one of the stars of the vintage. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2030.
International Wine Cellar - "Full ruby-red. Superripe, highly complex aromas of plum, cocoa powder, tobacco and warm stones. Big, plush and chewy, with compelling sweetness and generosity of texture to the flavors of plum, minerals, tobacco and woodsmoke. Has the sheer stuffing to support the serious, building but noble tannins. Finishes with superb palate-staining persistence. This may well shut down in bottle, and should age well for the next two decades, but it's a knockout right now."
Wine Enthusiast - "A ripely smooth, polished wine, the new wood a major constituent of its character. It has a severe structure, dark and concentrated, but the texture of the very ripe fruit is rounded, jammy, giving a more generous potential. Age for at least five years."
Connoisseurs' Guide - "60% Cabernet Sauvignon; 40% Merlot. This Chateau's star has been rising of late, and this superb effort shows how careful selection and attentive winemaking are to be had even in years that fall a bit short. Its deep, black-cherry, cassis and tobacco-leaf nose is followed up by meaty, well-extracted flavors of a similar stripe, and it matches its ample tannins with fine fruity substance throughout. It has the muscle of a wine meant for long keeping for a decade or more."
Wine Spectator - "Dark in color. Blackberry, coffee and milk chocolate aromas follow through to a full body, with lots of chewy tannins, ripe fruit and polished wood. This needs time to come together, but it's very powerful. Best after 2014."
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Chateau Pape Clement Winery
Château Pape Clément owes its name to its most illustrious owner. A man of the cloth born in 1264, Bertrand de Goth became Bishop of Comminges, in the Pyrenees Mountains, at the age of 31; he later became Archbishop of Bordeaux in 1299.
He then received as a gift the property in Pessac, the Vineyard de La Mothe. Taken by a passion for the vine, he continually took part personally in equipping, organizing and managing the domain in accordance with the most modern and rational practices. Nevertheless, on 5 June 1305 the cardinals met in a conclave in Pérouse and appointed him to succeed Pope Benedict XI, who had passed away prematurely after only eleven months of reign. Bertrand de Goth took the name of Clement V.
Supported by Philip IV, it was he who decided in 1309 to move the papal court to Avignon, thus breaking with Rome and its battles of influence. During this same period, the weight of his responsibilities led him to relinquish his property, giving it to the Archbishop of Bordeaux. Henceforward, the vineyard was to be known to posterity under the name of this enlightened pope.
The early period
Management under the clergy brings modernity The grateful Church perpetuated Pope Clement's work. Each archbishop in turn turned to modernity and technical progress, to the point of the wine estate becoming a model vineyard. In addition to especially early harvests, which remain one of its special characteristics, Château Pape Clément is without a doubt the first vineyard in France to align vine stock to facilitate labour.
After the Revolution
At the end of the 18th century, the Archbishop of Bordeaux was dispossessed of his property. The papal vineyard became part of the public domain.
The 20th century
8 June 1937 was a dark day in the vineyard's history, when a violent hailstorm destroyed virtually the entirety of the estate. Two years later, Paul Montagne bought it and gradually brought it back to life. Thanks to his efforts, the vineyard returned to its former rank and stood up to the surge in urbanization. His descendents, Léo Montagne and Bernard Magrez, perpetuate this secular tradition so that Château Pape Clément wines continue to delight the wine-lovers of today and tomorrow. View all Chateau Pape Clement Wines
About Pessac-LeognanView a map of Pessac-Leognan wineries (PEH-sak lay-ohn-yawn)
One of the top appellations within Graves, Pessac-Léognan is home to the only Graves chateau listed as a first growth in the 1855 Médoc classification – Chateau Haut-Brion. In fact, praise for the chateau dates back to the days of Thomas Jefferson, when, upon visiting the chateau in 1787, he bought 125 bottles for his cellar in Virginia.
The majority of wines made here are red, but Pessac-Léognan is also known for producing some of the finest dry white wines of Bordeaux. Many of the top chateau, like Chateau Haut Brion and Chateau Mission Haut Brion, produce top-quality whites alongside their red. Other Chateaux, like Smith Haut Lafite and Carbonnieux, are better known for their distinguished white wines than reds. Both colors of wine from this region have the specific tastes of the gravelly soil where it's grown.
About France - Other regionsWhen it comes to wine, France is a classic. Classic blends, grapes and styles began in the country and they still remain. Think about it - people ask for a Burgundian style Pinot Noir, they refer to wines as Bordeaux or Rhone blends - Champagne even had to pass a law to stop international wineries from putting their region on the label of all sparkling wine.
The top regions of France are: Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Languedoc-Roussillon, Loire, Rhone. And these regions are so diverse! It makes sense that wine regions throughout the world try to emulate their style. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah are no longer French varieties, but international varieties. They may not be the leader of cutting edge technology or value-priced wines, but there is no doubt that they are still producing wines of great quality and diversity.
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2 ratings, 2 with reviewsWilfred Wong (of Wine.com) - San Francisco, CA57/7/2014
A really super effort, Ch Pape Clement is one of the very best from Pessac-Leognan and in 2006 produced a pretty massive wine; yet stays balanced and refined on the palate; long and sexy in the finish, a bit on the extracted side, but pretty yummy overall.Marty Crine - Canal Fulton, OH56/18/2010This is the best wine I've tasted in decades. It was elegant and refined in it's entirety. The wine is smooth and the finish is just elegant and awesome. I love this price you gave us and the heads up. I wish I could get more at the price; it has already tripled in price and availability is low, thanks for the treat!!
- Big & Bold
- Pair With
- ribeye of beef
Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.
- 5 Stars: